Soft Walls – making home across national lines
Soft Walls seeks to deal with convivial relationships between migrated African nationals and South Africans; revealing the subtle ways in which individuals make sense of their experiences; forming relationships and bonds that can challenge dominant perceptions wherein difference is celebrated and prejudices towards “foreign” Africans are perpetuated. With migrants settling in, marrying, developing friendships and building homes with South Africans, the question of identity and belonging has become central. While immigrant integration has fairly engaged and transformed South African communities, the process has not, necessarily, led to cohesive communities. This has, in turn, led to the perceived walls or restrictions and unfavourable relationship issues. Smith’s Soft Walls figuratively investigates the subtle ways in which African nationals and South Africans, in relationships, make sense of their space, experiences and complexities. The project was funded by The 2012 Gisele Wulfsohn Mentorship from the Market Photo Workshop.